G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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This piece at Opposing Views isn’t an anti-Derb piece because it denies that there are stark differences between something like schools, neighborhoods, or nations full of blacks and Hispanics versus those populated by whites. No, the author, Shannon Bradley-Colleary is the anti-Derb because she acknowledges the differences between heavily white and heavily minority spaces but would rather teach her kids about diversity rather than optimize their education.
She writes about her fears of sending her white daughters to a majority minority school:
I’m concerned the kids from black and Hispanic homes might bully our girls because they’re white. I worry they’ll dislike our girls because they may be more privileged. I’m afraid the children from lower income households might come from broken, drug-riddled or violent homes (because, of course, that never happens in affluent homes). I’m also a white woman who had no black friends in school (there were only 5 black kids in our entire high school) and my two Hispanic friends were considered Oreos.
We plan to send our daughters to our local public middle school. I hope my girls will be safe. I hope it will be the right decision for them. I want to support public education, but more to the point I want my kids to have a broader worldview than I had growing up. I want them to feel confident and comfortable with good people of every culture, race and creed. In short, I want them to be better than me.
I won’t denigrate this mindset as much as I’ll try to understand it. The first question, for me, is “why”? Why does knowing about how certain racial and ethnic groups live make someone better than someone who hasn’t had a similar experience? And why is there any merit in exposing yourself and your kids to a risky situation (one that Bradley-Colleary admits will also lead to a lower level of education) just to say you did it? If we were just talking about a group of whites stratified by class, the author probably wouldn’t place such a high premium on gaining this textured experience.
Charles Murray and his wife famously moved to rural Maryland in order to raise their kids away from the upper-middle class bubble of the Washington D.C. elite. He wanted to provide them with a different way of looking at the world. As far as I know, though, Murray didn’t have qualms about his children’s safety, and the town and the county he moved to is mostly white indicating that he was looking for a more significant texture than the one provided by a shiny, metallic multiculturalism.
While the decisions of both Murray and Bradley-Colleary are unorthodox, Murray had higher goals than multicult for its own sake. His decision seems to be more substance over style, and he and his wife didn’t seem to have to weigh crime, bullying, or glaringly deficient schools.
And it’s ironic that Bradley-Colleary’s likely choice goes against the grain of what we’re told are the desires of the very people she’d be using to teach her children the ways of the world. We’re told that blacks and Hispanics would like to get away from their slummy schools, cultural “diversity” be damned. Bradley-Colleary might be among the only parents ever to actually be fearful about such risks, have the means to avoid such risks, but gravitate towards them anyway. There is white guilt, and then there’s this.